Friday, June 19, 2009

Board of Regents approve NSHE plan to implement faculty and professional salary cuts

The Board of Regents today approved the proposal developed out of the recommendations of the Personnel Task Force (discussed in an earlier post).

This recommendation is in response to the dilemma posed by the conflict between the legislative mandate in Senate Bill 433 to implement an across the board salary cut or furlough on all state employees, or to recover equivalent savings in payroll through other means, and the protections of tenured faculty in the NSHE code against salary cuts or furloughs and of untenured faculty and pro-staff against cuts or furloughs without one year notice.

The plan passed today was part of a package that includes a fee increase that will amount to a 10% increase each year of the biennium. From faculty, the plan recovers the equivalent of 4% each year of the biennium from faculty. The savings in the first year of the biennium will be achieved by keeping vacant positions open and other cost-cutting measures, and to implement the furlough in the second year of the biennium on professional staff, administration and all faculty who are not protected against pay cuts in the Code. Those who are do enjoy those rights under the Code -- specifically tenured faculty -- will help the System recover equivalent cost savings by a workload adjustment (ie additional course or student enrollment) in the second year of the biennium.

The NFA supported the plan in its final form, but sought to have this plan amended to include tenure track faculty in the workload adjustment rather than the pay cut. However, the Regents did not adopt our amendment today. There may be a chance to have that change made in the coming year, since the adjustment will not be implemented until the second year of the biennium - -and since the Regents will have to revisit the measure adopted today within 120 days, under the System Code.

While this is not a good development, it is one that is much, much better than where we might have been. There was a deliberate decision by the Board not to consider financial exigency, not to consider Code changes that would diminish faculty rights under the code, and to implement the cost savings in such a way as to ensure that our contributions (in terms of higher workload) will directly benefit students by allowing us to keep more sections and keep more students enrolled.

Although professional staff will absorb a 4% furlough in the second year of the biennium, this is a big improvement from proposals that were being considered which would have implemented an 8% furlough.

More information will be forthcoming in the days and weeks to come from the administration about the implementation of this plan; but for now, faculty and pro-staff can feel moderately good about this outcome. We will be sharing in the broad sacrifice that all members of the campus community -- classified staff, students, administration -- are making to close the budget gap. But our contribution will not be disproportionately larger than other NSHE constituencies, and the integrity of the Code and the principle of tenure and shared governance is not compromised.

In solidarity,

Gregory Brown
President, UNLV Faculty Alliance
Vice-Presient, Nevada Faculty Alliance


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  4. Just for fun, I checked the IPs on those comments and none are even from Nevada.

    No serious person would equate teaching college courses to "torture" and no serious person would miss the point that the decision to cut the Higher Ed budget, including the salary pool, was made by the legislature. And the decision on how to implement was made by the Board of Regents.

    But if it makes you feel better to blame the NFA, well, thats fine.

    And yes, I do believe my mother is proud of me; thanks for asking.

    By the way, any seriuos comments or questions (or criticisms) are welcome at Or, if you want to remain anonymous (because the retributive power of NFA is so great?), feel free to post here as well.

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  8. Jim, feel free to write me on or call me anytime. I'm not sure why you feel I'm personally the source of your angst nor do I think the anonymous, personal attacks you authored help the situation but I'm happy to talk to you about any of your concerns if they are valid, faculty-related issues.

    I suspect you're merely a troll so I've deleted the personal attacks that you posted, but I do welcome all comments, suggestions, criticisms and my email and phone are listed for that purpose. Feel free as well to voice concerns to other NFA officers, all of whom are elected by and answerable to the membership.

  9. First, I"m hardly a troll, (for instance, my grant and publication record is MUCH better than yours).
    My personal attacks were just a response to yours, nothing less, nothing more.
    If you were actually a fair person, you would have deleted your attacks against me, but we see that you didn't. Nice to be in control of all information flow, isn't it?
    Perhaps my letters to NFA people had an effect, in that the original plan to INCREASE THE PAIN for everyone, was dropped. Perhaps not. I'm glad that idiotic plan was dropped, whatever the cause.